Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Catholic Church Will Not Liberalize

There is far too much to try to do in one post, but first this - why doesn't anyone seem to understand that the Roman Catholic Church, like the Orthodox Church as a Church that holds to Holy Tradition (as opposed to small "t" tradition of men)? While we Orthodox often criticize the Catholic Church for its lapses in observance of Holy Tradition (hence the schism), Pope John Paul II did much to bring them back to the teaching and practices handed down from Christ himself. I will discuss our differences some other time.

The Catholic Church will not approve abortion, a female clergy, homosexuality, or any of the other things that the liberals want because Holy Tradition, Holy Scripture, and the teachings handed down to us from Christ through his Apostles does not include it. This has nothing to do with politics. That modern society has moved away from the ancient ways means absolutely nothing. God does not change. Whether or not the Church increases or decreases in membership has no bearing on the matter. A married clergy is a different matter. Having a celibate clegy was a later Church decision. In the earliest times the Catholic Church, like the Orthodox Church, had a married clergy. This is possible because some of the Apostles were married with families.

While we're at it, I'd like to address the question of membership in the RCC under Pope John Paul II. Liberals love to explain that the Catholic Church is suffering declining membership due to the authoritarianism and conservatism of the late Pope. This is absolutely false. While liberal mainline denominations lose members (no doubt due to their liberalism - that is for a later post) conservative churches, including the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have seen increases in membership equal to or greater than the increase in population taken proportionately. See Are American Catholics in Decline? by Joseph Claude Harris. When John Paul II became Pope there were 700 million Catholics in the world. That number is now well over a billion and probably more like 1.5 billion, with the largest increases in South America and Africa. That doesn't look like a declining church to me. See also The Orthodox (Eastern Christian) Churches In The USA At The Beginning Of a New Millennium which, while critical of the reporting of the Orthodox Churches themselves, shows steady increase not only from immigration but family growth and conversion.

In the coming days we will here a lot about declining Church membership due to the conservative nature of Pope John Paul II. It will all be an absolute lie. The liberals have an agenda, and it is an evil one. Witness the effect of "modernization" and "relevence" on the mailine Protestant churches, particularly the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA). The tragic self destruction of that Church is obvious and is a direct result of its revision of sexual ethics. See Commentary on Episcopal Church Membership Decline by Diane Knippers in The Institute on Religion and Democracy.

People who believe in God, who read the Bible and study the Holy Fathers, are just not going to be part of a Church that does not respect the words in the Bible or the teachings of the Holy Fathers. The Catholic Church will continue to adhere to Tradition as they should.

It is a shame that even many Catholics do not understand this.

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